Devils Lake Journal - Devils Lake, ND
by Antonio Prokup
Great Awakening II is Needed
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By Antonio Prokup
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Dec. 11, 2012 12:11 p.m.

Why is the percentage of children who attend school higher than the percentage of those who attend church? When, as a country, did we decide attending church was not necessary? Did our forefathers mean for this to happen when they fought for freedom of religion?
Religion has always been an integral part of the lives of Americans. Our country was conceived with the dream of religious freedom for all. In the 1700ís religion and attending services was so important homes were built around centers where services were held. Attending a religious service was more important than attending school. Colonists relied on God for everything. Even when attending services declined, they didnít give up. Through the Great Awakening their faith continued to thrive.
Throughout the country about 45 percent of the people say they attend a weekly church service. This percent has remained steady for the past 40 years, which leads researchers to believe people are not telling the truth. However, we know that even this number is lower than the 1700ís. I believe attending church is vital and research describes the advantages.
Attending church on an weekly basis has been attributed to the following: 1- less suicides 2-decrease in blood pressure 3- longer life 4- gives you a way to help others and 5- gives you a resource to understand God better. These and many other reasons should be enough to get us up out of bed and to church, but unfortunately it doesnít seem to make any difference. We, collectively, appear to be too busy or too lazy. It is easier to say believing in God is enough. Or is it? Church communities give people the opportunity to not only believe, but share that belief with others. As long as people share beliefs with others, we then have the chance to change the world one person at a time. Church communities allow us to help the needy in an organized and anonymous manner. Churches provide an amazing support group as well. People are always there to help and support; the kind of support that can only come from a church community. It makes me sad to know that many children never experience this feeling of support, because their families donít make the effort to attend services. And making an effort is the key. Why do we make an effort for school, but not church? In my opinion church is just as important as school. School satisfies the brain but church nourishes the heart and soul.
I believe we, as a country, need to take attending church more seriously. When people gather together regularly, only great things can happen. We are in need of another Great Awakening.

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